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Grace

is a member of the Umucyo (“Light” in Kinyarwandan) co-op, a group of 11 women that stitch unique accessories for our collection.

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A survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, she struggled for years to recover from the impact the genocide had on her family.

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To experience grace's story of transformation

Grace was 6 years old when the genocide began.

Her father was on his way home from work when the government-supported militia met him on the road and killed him with a machete.

Grace’s mom knew she had only one choice to protect her children—to flee Kigali and hope for safety. With her two-year-old son on her back and holding six-year-old Grace’s hands as they ran, they journeyed 80 miles on foot,

hiding in the bush from the constant threat of death.

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Over 1,000,000 people were killed in those 100 days.

As a result of the poverty caused by the genocide, over half of Rwandan children stopped going to school, but Grace remained determined to graduate and get a good job to support her family.

Returning home after 100 days, Grace’s family found that their house had been burned to the ground.

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Thankfully, Grace’s mom located her employer, who brought them food and clothes and asked her to begin work again.

Grace continued to pursue her education. But as she grew older, she knew she needed a job that would enable her to support her family.

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Along with ten other women sponsored by Noonday Collection customers and friends, Grace began taking classes every day to develop the skills to become a professional seamstress.

After having been denied her primary school diploma for so long because of bureaucratic errors, Grace had almost given up on ever having a graduation.

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So when she graduated from sewing school surrounded by ten other women who had become like family, it was a moment that gave her the dignity she longed for.

Despite the difficult things she has experienced, Grace considers herself blessed. She has been working consistently since May 2012 with Noonday’s sewing cooperative, providing the needed money to not only provide for herself, but to help her mother and brother thrive as well.

She has also found peace about not being able to finish school, saying,

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“People get a diploma so they can then find a job. Without a diploma, they can’t find work. But I have work. Good work. I am happy.”

When you purchase from Noonday Collection, you create opportunity for someone like Grace.

wear their story, share their story.
Shop at noondaycollection.com
Noonday Collection uses fashion and design to create economic opportunity for the vulnerable.